By Ben Adoga
The National Women Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu has advocated for gender mainstreaming, just as she observed that sustainable development is virtually impossible without frontally addressing the marginalisation and adversities facing women across the globe.
She regretted that year after year, successive governments continue to pay lip service to issues of women empowerment and gender mainstreaming, stressing that from politics and governance to the family and economy, the challenges confronting women are as real as they are daunting.
Aliyu, made this assertion in her message to the ongoing Africa Women Conference in New York, as part of activities marking 2018 International Women’s Day.
In a press statement issued by the co-host of the conference and President of Helpline Foundation for the Needy, Abuja, Dr. Jumai Ahmadu quoted the APC National Women Leader as saying that the time has come to actually do something about women empowerment and gender mainstreaming.
The statement read in part: “Needless to say, the majority of us have had cause to so think at one point or the other in our lives. This is even more so in less developed climes like Africa where the majority are still grappling with basic necessities that our counterparts in the advanced world have since taken for granted.
“Therein lies the real connection between sustainable development and gender discrimination because our societies often feel that they have more important issues to address. However, the irony is that sustainable development is virtually impossible without frontally addressing marginalisation and adversity facing our women.
“From politics and governance to the family and economy, the challenges confronting our women are as real as they are daunting. Year after year we continue to pay lip service to issues of women empowerment and gender mainstreaming.
“The MDGs, and now the SDGs have provided a great vehicle for attaining sustainable development and by extension women empowerment. Unfortunately the success stories have been rather too few and far in between”.
The women leader called on countries, especially Africa governments to tap into the vast reservoir of socio-economic and cultural experiences and resources available to draw up tailor-made interventions that will significantly close the gender gap, adding that without women empowerment there also cannot be any real sustainable development.
According to her, “This can also be done by urging our lawmakers to come up with legislations that will guarantee and promote women’s access to decent terms and conditions of employment, including but not limited to good living wages, secure contracts, access to social protection, equal pay for equal work, equal opportunities and of course non-discrimination in the workplace”.
She used the occasion to reach out to the families of the abducted girls in Chibok and recently Dapchi, just as she expressed the belief that the measures taken by the government towards rescuing the girls will soon bear fruits.